Another one for signing?

As a special treat for Sinc, here is an exerpt from an absolutely hilarious piece by Mark Steyn on the Mandela funeral and the signing snafu, in which a violent schizophrenic was given the gig because his quote was the lowest.  (The IRONY)

(I have always fancied myself as a signer – maybe my dream can be fulfilled.  After all, my application for jobs can begin: “Let me make it clear in the first instance, I am not a violent schizophrenic ….)

Here is part of the Steyn piece:

But the star of the show was undoubtedly Thamsanqa Jantjie, the sign-language interpreter who stood alongside the world’s leaders and translated their eulogies for the deaf. Unfortunately, he translated them into total gibberish, reduced by the time of President Obama’s appearance to making random hand gestures, as who has not felt the urge to do during the great man’s speeches. Mr. Jantjie has now pleaded in mitigation that he was having a sudden hallucination because he is a violent schizophrenic. It has not been established whether he is, in fact, a violent schizophrenic, or, as with his claim to be a sign-language interpreter, merely purporting to be one. Asked how often he has been violent, he replied, somewhat cryptically, “A lot.”

Still, South African officials are furiously pointing fingers (appropriately enough) to account for how he wound up onstage. “I do not think he was just picked up off the street. He was from a school for the deaf,” Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, the Deputy Minister for Persons with Disability, assured the press. But the Deaf Federation of South Africa said it had previously complained about his nonsensical signing after an event last year. Mr. Jantjie was paid a grand total of $85 for his simultaneous translation of the speeches of the U.N. secretary-general, six presidents, the head of the African Union, and a dozen other dignitaries. Ms. Bogopane-Zulu notes that the going rate for signing in South Africa is $125 to $165. So she thinks a junior official may simply have awarded the contract to the lowest bid.

That would never happen in Washington, of course. But how heartening, as one watches the viral video of Obama droning on while a mere foot and a half away Mr. Jantjie rubs his belly and tickles his ear, to think that the White House’s usual money-no-object security operation went to the trouble of flying in Air Force One, plus the “decoy” Air Force One, plus support aircraft, plus the 120-vehicle motorcade or whatever it’s up to by now, plus a bazillion Secret Service agents with reflector shades and telephone wire dangling from their ears, to shepherd POTUS into the secured venue and then stand him onstage next to an $85-a-day violent schizophrenic. 

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30 Responses to Another one for signing?

  1. Interesting, isn’t it, how the Right always holds up anything to do with assisting people with disabilities to ridicule. It says a lot…..,

  2. Carpe Jugulum

    Oh dear the shrieking loon is here too.

  3. Docket62

    When someone holds themselves out to ‘sign’ for the deaf, and makes a complete arse of themselves, not to mention the security of every person there, one can but sit back and laugh one’s own arse off. How that can be interpreted as a mockery of the deaf, as you suggest numbers, beggars belief. It is however the you tube sensation of the year, an early christmas present to one and all. Ho Ho Ho

  4. entropy

    Actually, I don’t think this signing meme is a joke. It is all about demonsrating how caring you are. Even if it would make more sense to just scroll the text of the speech alongside he bottom of the tv screen, thus removing the distracting presence of the signer.

    But prominently putting the signer up there demonstrates how caring you are, and thus it is good.

    Deaf politics is something I have trouble relating to. There is a culture that denies it is a disability, but a viable culture to be promoted. Taken to extremes, you have deaf parents wanting to select children for deafness. Many proponents aggressively criticise people that try to ‘cure’ deafness. Things like bionic ears are bad, presumably because it threatens the culture.
    I have dealt with people like that, and it was all I could do to remain polite.

  5. candy

    If the Mandela family didn’t feel offended an unsuitable person was chosen to do the signing and it’s no big deal to them, then it probably doesn’t matter.

  6. Megan

    Oh dear the shrieking loon is here too.

    Carpe, he’s everywhere, a bit like the Scarlet Pimpernel but without the looks, élan or French accent. Or brains, obviously. Expect an inundation, now that the teachers are on a well earned break.

  7. because his quote was the lowest
    What deserves mocking here is Marketism.
    Prime example of how it screws most things.

  8. ACTOldFart

    if it would make more sense to just scroll the text of the speech alongside he bottom of the tv screen

    And what about deaf people who can’t read? How can you be such a hard-hearted, cognito-normative exclusivist? I am appalled

  9. Brett

    It is all about demonsrating how caring you are.

    Save that they clearly do not care sufficiently to ensure that it is done correctly.

    What deserves mocking here is Marketism.
    Prime example of how it screws most things.

    What needs to be mocked here is yet another oxygen thief public servant who is either to stupid, lazy or incompetent (or possibly all of the above) to check even the most basic facts. Come to think of it, I am sure the union drones in Canberra can find a spot for him; he’ll clearly be needing asylum shortly.

  10. H B Bear

    I thought it was nice the way Mandela didn’t try to upstage the Magic Negro and his teleprompter.

  11. Deaf politics is something I have trouble relating to
    The deaf community probably couldn’t care less.

  12. Brian of Moorabbin

    Sinc should employ Mr Jantjie to translate Numbers’ posts into rational thought for us.

    Hell, I’ll even chip in the $85 to pay for the first month.

  13. nic

    Interesting, isn’t it, how the Right always holds up anything to do with assisting people with disabilities to ridicule. It says a lot…..,

    Erm , how exactly did he ‘assist those with a disability’? This is part of the point. Steyn’s points are on the money.

  14. Steve of Glasshouse

    Brian..Sinc should employ Mr Jantjie to translate Numbers’ posts into rational thought for us.

    It’s been done

  15. Jessie

    It is true Numbers, had attendees and viewers experienced bolts of lightening on that rain soaked market day of eulogy they may well have considered this as a sign the rainbow serpent is truly embodied at an international scale. Such a market would be, absolutely, far grander and of more utility than the realities of necklaces manufactured from rubber and diamonds.

  16. Brian of Moorabbin

    Sayeth the Digital One:

    Interesting, isn’t it, how the Right always holds up anything to do with assisting people with disabilities to ridicule. It says a lot…..

    Yet, strangely, the facts suggest that the man was not assisting anything at all with his nonsensical gesturing:

    Concerns over the male interpreter had been raised by deaf people watching the service at Johannesburg’s FNB Stadium on Tuesday.

    Bruno Druchen, national director of the Deaf Federation of South Africa, said the unidentified man, who was on stage alongside world leaders including US President Barack Obama, “was moving his hands around but there was no meaning in what he used his hands for”.

    No, no, no… he was ‘ASSISTING’ the deaf people according to Bob..

    South African parliament member Wilma Newhoudt, a member of the ruling party, also said the man communicated nothing with his hand and arm movements.

    Both Mr Druchen and Ms Newhoudt are deaf.

    But hey, what would either of them know about providing assistance to deaf people, eh Numbers? It’s not like they might actually know what they’re talking about, right?

    Three sign language experts said the man was not signing in South African or American sign languages.

    South African sign language covers all of the country’s 11 official languages, according to the federation.

    Nicole Du Toit, an official sign language interpreter who also watched the broadcast, said the man on stage was an “embarrassment”.

    She said: “It was horrible, an absolute circus, really really bad. Only he can understand those gestures.”

    Delphin Hlungwane, an official South African sign language interpreter with DeafSA, said authorities were trying to track the man down.

    She said: “There was zero percent accuracy. He couldn’t even get the basics right. He couldn’t even say thank you. You’re supposed to indicate with your facial expressions, even if it’s not an exact sign. He didn’t indicate that (booing of Jacob Zuma) at all. It just passed him by.

    All these people saying the same thing. They’re all just right-wing nutjobs and gun-wankers in your view, aren’t they Bob? Absoluetly no interest in assisting deaf people, unlike the selfless work you do for the entire disabled community every waking moment….

  17. Brian of Moorabbin

    Glashouse Steve,

    I thought this guy did a better job of translating Numbers personally…

  18. Jessie

    Thanks Brian,
    So as not to use the English language rather to be seen to be inclusive of all South African’s and acknowledge their [tribal] languages and dialects.

  19. nic

    So as not to use the English language rather to be seen to be inclusive of all South African’s and acknowledge their [tribal] languages and dialects.

    Had he said he was signing in xhosa, he probably would have go ten away with it.

  20. JohnA

    [Joke alert]

    Maybe he was telling us what the POTUS WAS really saying.

  21. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From candy at 10:13 am:

    “If the Mandela family didn’t feel offended an unsuitable person was chosen to do the signing and it’s no big deal to them, then it probably doesn’t matter.”

    I fear the troooly luverly, grieving Mandela’s were distracted from such incidentals by the ongoing brawl within about who most deserves how much from the $10m estate. Read the papers – they’ve been weeping about their financial entitlements for months.

    They couldn’t even agree on which of the cousins or aunts should or shouldn’t be involved in planting the poor dead old buggar!

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304202204579254023826934040

  22. Interesting, isn’t it, how the Right always holds up anything to do with assisting people with disabilities to ridicule. It says a lot…..,

    Excuse me? Pointing out that a paranoid schitzophrenic was waving his hands around meaninglessly on TV is ridiculing people with disabilities?
    Numbers has lost it. I thought better of him. He needs professional help.

    because his quote was the lowest
    What deserves mocking here is Marketism.
    Prime example of how it screws most things.

    Let’s just say this would never have happened in the old South Africa.
    Tell us again how much better the place is being run by kleptocratic negros.
    Numbers calls this a market failure.
    It is a failure of black people to run an African country. It is indisputable, right there on every-TV-screen-in-the-world.
    This is how they do things when the world is watching. What happens when nobody is looking?

    The deaf community probably couldn’t care less.

    Sure.

  23. gnasher

    I can’t stop it running in my head of this fruitloop suddenly having a spin out & goes postal on the Kenyan.

  24. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    He was merely demonstrating how the deaf can also ‘talk in tongues’.
    Especially when The Lord comes upon their spokesman in the presence of such an array of Saints.

  25. JC

    Numbers has lost it. I thought better of him.

    You did? Why on earth?

  26. Pete of Perth

    Mr. Jantjie has outdone the chaser boys.

  27. gabrianga

    Most unfair. Thamsanqa Jantjie, the sign-language interpreter was not supplied with an autocue.

    Having listened to hours of the “Chosen One” murdering the English language, stuttering and stumbling,
    I would suggest that being his sign-language interpreter might indeed lead to a mental disorder.

  28. JohnA

    It is a failure of blackMarxist people to run an African ANY country. It is indisputable, right there on every-TV-screen-in-the-world.

    TFTFY

  29. one old bruce

    You’re not a leftist, Numbers. You fall way short of basic requirements.

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